Dejan Lovren has revealed progress in his negotiations with Liverpool over a new deal, with the defender expecting the outcome to become clear-cut ‘in the next month.’
The 27-year-old’s current contract runs until 2019, but the Reds want to lock him down longer term.
Talks recently resumed with the player's campafter being put on hold for a while and have been developing well.
Lovren, who was outstanding inSaturday's3-1 Merseyside derby victory over Everton - his first start since the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the end ofJanuary -is settled at the club following a turbulent introduction and wants to continue in their rearguard.
“I think the progress is going on still,” he said at Anfield after Liverpool extended their unbeaten spellagainst their neighbours to 13 games - matching their recordbetween 1972 and 1978.
“We will see. Everything will be clear in the next month.
“I have said many times I am happy here and I am settled after everything that happened in the beginning, so I just want to improve here and show my quality and give my best for the club.”
The centre-back, who has been hampered by a series of injuries this season, was lucky not to pick up another one over the weekend.
Everton midfielder Ross Barkley planted his studs into Lovren’s shin after a poor touch saw him overrun the ball.
Jurgen Klopp was incensed by the challenge, and while the Croatian did notwant to generate further headlines over the incident, he admitted he was disappointed the 23-year-old chose to argue with the refereeinstead of apologising.
“It will be headlines tomorrow if I show you my leg,” Lovren grimaced.
“It was a tough challenge, but we have seen it many times before and if I talk it will be all over the newspapers.”
Pressed over whether Barkley said sorry, he added: “No, that is the only thing I do not like.
“If you make a hard challenge then be open about it and say sorry or something like that.
“Don’t talk to the referee and say it was not a foul. I think everyone saw it, especially me, but now it is over.”
Lovren saluted Liverpool’s Brazilian contingent for their influentialcontributions on Saturday.
Philippe Coutinho, who added another sublime curler to his collection, and Roberto Firmino had represented their country in Sao Paulo on Tuesday before immediately flying back to Liverpool on a private jet.
They landed the following evening,hada recovery session and despite not participating ina full intensive workout with the group, started and set the attacking tone against Everton.
Lucas Leiva, meanwhile, was deployed at the base of midfield in a rejig following Adam Lallana’s thigh injury and excelled.
On Coutinho and Firmino’s performance, Lovren said: “They had a long, long flight back from Brazil. They did not even train with us.
“It was just a little session, but they are such quality players they don’t even need to train,” before adding, “but I want to say about Lucas Leiva -he was brilliant today.
“He was playing like he has played 38 games in a row! Amazing! I was happy about him and everyone.”
Liverpool, already sans captain Jordan Henderson and Lallana, are hoping not to be without Sadio Mane for an extended period.
The Senegal international headed straight down the tunnel to receive treatment on his knee having been replaced after a tussle with Leighton Baines.
Mane did walk out of Anfield unaided, though, and fingers will be crossed that his issue is minor.
The Reds boss has had to dealwith the unavailability of key personnel all season, with Lovren admitting: “Listen, it is important - if you don’t have injuries, you will be in the place of Chelsea.
“Chelsea have not had one [major] injury, I do not think.
“Sometimes you need to be lucky in football, but we also played today without Henderson and Lallana who are massive players for us, but we showed we can play against everyone with other players.
“Now we need to show our qualities in our mind and repeat it against Bournemouth and take as many points as possible.
“If you want to play in the Champions League then you need to play like a Champions League team.”